Youpla: Your mob is our mob – A yarn with Noeline Dixon

19 December 2019

Youpla: Your mob is our mob – A yarn with Noeline Dixon

If you follow our social media pages you would see our company tagline – Youpla: Your mob is our Mob. Youpla is a commonly used Indigenous creole term to refer to a like-minded group of friends and family coming together to protect each other.

When Isaac was visiting a community in North Queensland last year, a Torres Strait Islander man asked what the company was about. As Isaac was explaining it to him and how the service is not just for the individual, but the whole family and wider community, the man said, “Youpla, it’s for all of us, my mob is your mob”.

For many of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members we are all connected in some way through family, friends or cultural links to a community.

Noeline Dixon

Youpla Community Consultant, Alana Simon, recently connected with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Practitioner and qualified Nurse, Noeline Dixon, in her hometown of Forster in New South Wales.

Noeline recognised the importance of a funeral plan for her community back in Bourke and invited Alana to visit. For Noeline, her best memories of growing up in Bourke were spending time with family.

“Every day was like Christmas. Every morning all the family would meet on Adelaide Street at Great Grandfather Poppa Dixon and Great Grandmother Laura Dixon family home for breakfast and play rounders or marbles. At lunch we would run over from school to our great Aunty’s place.”

“Just all the family get-togethers, the Elders were very close and the men used to go fishing and hunting. My dad worked in the abattoir and still trains the young ones today.”

Noeline now lives in Forster on the Mid North Coast, where she works at the Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Service. In her role she sees people passing away unexpectedly and very young.

“It’s very sad when times are hard and we don’t have much money laying around for funerals.”

Taking the trip back home and introducing the Youpla team was something important to Noeline. It was a way for community members to start talking about what happens when someone passes.

“I wanted people to sign up to the Youpla family funeral plan. It’s something we don’t look forward to, but it is something we need to get in place for when the time does come.”

“For our Elders it can be a stressful. It can be so hard to get the money to put a loved one to rest. At this time when we lose family we shouldn’t have to worry where we are getting the money. It should be about putting them to rest.”

Noeline said when an unexpected loss happens family try to come together financially, but there is only so much you can do. “Like many other Indigenous communities we have large family groups, up to 15 people in some families.
We need a funeral plan to cover everyone.”

Noeline said she appreciated the Youpla team travelling to her community.

“I’d like to thank you guys for coming out, making the trip. I know it’s a long trip and it’s worth what we are doing for our people.”

“We need more Aboriginal communities in this area knowing about this program, what you do and signing people up. At the end of the day we don’t need our people left with the burden.”

This article is from Youpla Yarns. To read more articles like it, as well as other stories from the community, visit our community newsletter page below.